European Thermal Heritage Day 2021

European Thermal Heritage Day 2021




EHTTA's 4th European Thermal Heritage Day, hosted by Wiesbaden will take place on the 21st October online at 10.00h CET from the Christian Zais Saal, Kurhaus Wiesbaden. The first of a series of annual events on the "Therapeutic Landscape", this first event is on the subject of "Thermal Urbanism".

Therapeutic Landscapes: "Thermal Urbanism”

Draft Programme

Global moderator: Simone Zagrodnik, Executive Director, EHTTA

10.00 h Opening speeches

Dr. Oliver Franz, Mayor of Wiesbaden
José Manuel Baltar Blanco, EHTTA President
Mark Weinmeister, Hessen State Secretary for Europe (tbc)
Erik Kulleseid, Commissioner, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation NY State (USA) (tbc)
Dr. Birgitta Ringbeck, Representative of Germany to the EPA (Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes) Governing Board and Coordinator World Heritage at the German Federal Foreign Office (tbc)
Stefano Dominioni, Executive Secretary, European Institute of Cultural Routes (Council of Europe)

11.00 h Presentations from a panel of experts

“Thermal Urbanism in EHTTA” – Mario Crecente, Vice President, EHTTA Scientific Committee.
“Thermal Urbanism in the Great Spas of Europe” – Paul Simons, Secretary General of the Great Spa Towns of Europe UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Thermal Urbanism in Wiesbaden” – Dr. Thomas Weichel, Office of Identity - Commitment - Citizen Participation.
“Thermal Urbanism in Saratoga Springs, USA” – To be confirmed.

12.30 h Questions and discussion

13.30 h Digital Wiesbaden-Tour “One day in Wiesbaden”

Background and previous European Thermal Heritage Days



The European Thermal Heritage Day is an annual event established by EHTTA's Scientific Committee in 2018 as a celebration of European thermal heritage and an opportunity to raise awareness of the subject that is at the heart of the Association and its objectives. It is regarded as an example of best practice by the European Institute of Cultural Routes, and won an award in 2019 for the concept.

EHTTA believes that thermal heritage represents a very particular European phenomenon, which includes natural, cultural, and intangible resources. The concept of thermal heritage is used to promote health and wellbeing, to create original tourism destinations, and to protect magnificent cultural landscapes. European Thermal Heritage Day highlights the importance of thermal heritage as a centuries-old Europe-wide tradition, and to gain recognition and awareness of issues that affect the future of this valuable heritage.
In 2018, the first European Thermal Heritage Day was held on the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the Hotel Gellert in Budapest, and was a study of “Thermal Tourism and Spa Heritage in Europe”. EHTTA was delighted to welcome the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport to this inaugural event, Mr Tibor Navracsics, who is pictured here, third from the right, with (L-R) Mario Crecente, Vice President of the EHTTA Scientific Committee, László Szőke, CEO of Budapest Spas, Gábor Bagdy, First Vice Mayor of Budapest, Manuel Baltar and Bernard Kajdan, Vice Presidents of EHTTA, and Paul Simons President of EHTTA's Scientific Committee. (Positions and titles as in 2018)
In 2019 in Spa, in Belgium, the focus was on the word “Spa” as a 'concept that needs to be redefined' - Spa gave it's name to the world, but now finds that the word has been devalued by numerous "spas" that have nothing to do with the use of healing mineral waters - waters which are at the centre of EHTTA's towns. Find out more about the day from the speakers and audience here
In 2020, European Thermal Heritage Day was hosted by Baden-Baden in Germany, and examined the subject of Thermal Architecture in all its forms. The thermal architecture of our spa towns includes magnificent bathing temples and imposing pump rooms or trinkhalle, as well as residential villas and buildings designed for leisure and entertainment, such as casinos, assembly rooms, theatres, concert halls and art galleries, all set around formal parks and gardens and within a wider "therapeutic landscape". As one of the "Great Spas of Europe", where the urban form of thermal towns has been studied in great depth, and with some magnificent examples of thermal architecture for delegates to visit, Baden-Baden was the perfect virtual location for the 2020 European Thermal Heritage Day. The whole event can be seen here. The 2020 programme and speakers, can be found here.
Download the Scientific Committee Publications from 2018, 2019 and 2020 here.